Do You Know Where Your Project Is? Tracking Multi-Team
May 09, 2023
You’re nearing the end of a long project. The closer you get, the more imperative it becomes to know the ongoing status of your turnover progress.
It certainly requires a lot of coordination among the many teams on the jobsite and the back office; an endless array of deliverables to verify, produce and package up for the owner; and tasks to complete and check off.
All of which begs some questions: Since turnover includes essentially the fully documented story of the project’s build, how can you be sure that files, drawings and other information from earlier in the project have been stored, and where? Are the same protocols used by all teams for this? How are the different teams progressing? Do you trust the timeliness, accuracy and completeness of the documents and data you have so far?
Factors affecting turnover status tracking
Uncertainty over how thorough turnover tracking is can be further exacerbated by other factors to account for:
Changes In Scope Throughout the Project. Construction is a complex, dynamic environment with multiple teams to coordinate. So, when a project undergoes modifications in scope, the turnover requirements may have to undergo corresponding alterations. It can set in motion a series of setbacks on the way to the turnover, from insufficient documentation to inadequate commissioning and inspections to any misinterpretations of those changes among the teams. Keeping track of these changes and ensuring that all teams are aligned adds to the confusion — making coordination and communication among teams crucial in managing scope changes effectively and minimizing their impact.
Limited Visibility into Turnover Status. Without a comprehensive view of the turnover status across all the other teams it’s harder to see bottlenecks and areas of improvement, prioritize tasks and ensure timely completion of turnover activities. Because this process involves transferring responsibilities from one team to another, any delays or mistakes can cause delays or rework for downstream teams. Lacking visibility into turnover status, construction managers and project managers cannot effectively coordinate teams, anticipate delays or adjust timelines, creating unnecessary confusion and inefficiencies.
Insufficient Information and Communication Channels. These challenges are all too familiar to the point that communication issues are cited as one of the top factors that negatively impact project outcomes. All the conflicting details, misunderstandings and limited access to the latest updates hamper the ability to identify and address issues that could impact the turnover process. Moreover, unreliable information and communication protocols can fuel uncertainty about project priorities and timelines, undermining efforts to track team progress and ensure turnover requirements and deadlines are being met.
Trying To Track Status Based on Paper or Computer Documentation. As with poor communication, manual documentation processes can create their own bottlenecks throughout a project but can be especially problematic at the turnover stage given the immense volume of information to be transferred to the owner and their facilities team. Along with the decentralized nature of such processes, the lack of organization and transparency further complicates assessing project status and overall turnover readiness, increasing the risk of incomplete/misplaced/forgotten documentation, missed milestones and a bump in costs.
How you can improve tracking turnover status
No wonder the process can be a frenzied one for all the teams involved. Really, addressing these uncertainties comes down to how you’re tracking it all. The answer isn’t just one thing though. Here’s what to look for to improve the process:
Invest In a Single Source Of Truth. “One” may be a lonely number but it’s the only number that matters when it comes to where you keep and access your turnover documents. Having a single source of truth (SSOT) has benefits throughout a project, but there are two key benefits that impact the turnover process: control and visibility. With one virtual location it’s far easier for construction managers to control collecting, storing, sharing and updating the documents that become part of the end-of-project package for the owner. Such a centralized system gives managers as well as teams in the field and back-office visibility into the latest information about completed work, pending tasks and upcoming deadlines. This allows for better coordination among teams, ensuring that turnover activities are completed on time and with minimal delays.
Digitalize The Process with Construction Document Control Software. Having a virtual SSOT represents a tangible shift in how the turnover process has evolved. Owners are far more likely than not to expect a digital package of all documentation. To get to that point, you must go digital, too. And it’s not just about digitizing and inventorying normally hard-copy files. Going digital gives you as the construction manager the ability to monitor turnover-bound documents and activities.
The most effective way? By using earned value management metrics that continually measure project performance. These trusted metrics provide the real-time data needed to assess status and identify potential issues a team may be experiencing, so you can make more informed decisions about resource allocation and scheduling, for example. That metric data, which itself becomes part of the turnover package, shows how well the project is meeting owner requirements and how corrective action brought the project more in line to meet expected outcomes.
Begin At the Beginning. Starting to plan for turnover as the end of a project approaches is generally much too late. Evolving the turnover plan from the beginning of the project, before ground has broken, sets you up for a far less frantic turnover process at project’s end. This earlier start time applies as well to traditionally late documentation processes that have been part of turnover, including punch list inspection and commissioning. With those processes being logged in real-time throughout the build, those respective teams are assured their documentation-heavy deliverables are current, complete and logged in advance of the end-of-project push.
Want to know where your project is and feel more confident as turnover approaches? InEight can help you track your turnover process throughout the project life cycle with InEight Document Control. We’re happy to share how it can make your job easier. Let’s have a brief conversation.
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